I seem to be hurrying.  Not exactly running, but still hurrying nonetheless.  It’s something urgent.

What is it?

It’s Bruce.  Right, Bruce asked me to come.  How long ago was that?  God, I don’t remember for sure.  I’ve lost track of time, haven’t I?  I realize that I have no idea exactly what I’ve been doing for the last few days.

I glance down at myself, and the surprise is enough to stop me in my tracks (track of time? track meet? tracks of my tears?).  I would have expected Gellar or Stewart.  I wouldn’t even have been that surprised by someone else entirely, but this…  The skin on my hands and arms seems not to be skin at all, but some kind of motion, some kind of impossible shifting across itself and never quite succeeding but never quite failing either.

I’m the one that is apparently neither male nor female, or is apparently both, or something like that.  I was the bovine.  But it’s a surprise because it seems as though that was not me; I mean, it was not this self-facet.

Or is that just confusion on my part?  Isn’t it one of the premises of all this that it’s ALL me (I)?  But right now I have this strong sense of my stream of consciousness not intersecting with that of the androgyne.

Even though the space that I am traversing is not space in any literal sense, it’s apparently taken me quite a while.  Why could I not just be there, and walk in to see him?  Oh, of course!  Just when I think THAT, the door appears.  Why didn’t I think of it earlier?  Was I even thinking at all earlier?

Having “reached” the door, I knock.

An unfamiliar voice, not very loud but clear:  “Come in, please.”

I open the door.  It’s a small room.  I immediately think of a jail cell because of its size, though it is clearly not locked.  No windows.  A platform extending out into the room from one wall making a bunk, on which there is a thin, uncomfortable-looking mattress.  On the bunk sits a man, played by Christopher Walken.  He is sitting on the bunk sideways, with his back leaning against the wall and his feet on the floor.  He is completely naked, and there is a large amount of dried blood on the front of his body.  There is a wound in his chest, apparently the source of the blood but now no longer bleeding,  He seems to be resting.  His eyes convey that he is weak, but he does not give any sign of being in significant pain.

His gaze flits briefly to the space on the bunk beside him, and back to me.  “Sit, please.”

It feels like I am moving very slowly.  I sit down on the bunk next to him and lean my back against the wall, adopting basically the same posture.  “What happened?”

He slowly lifts his left hand and uses it to indicate the wound in his chest.  “Shard.”  He clearly is weak.

“That was done with the shard?”

He nods.

“You did it to yourself?”

He nods again.

“Where is the shard now?”

He slowly reaches up again, this time very lightly touching the wound with his index finger.  “In here.”

Ok, it’s not as though I really didn’t know that this is what he was going to say.  I sit silently, not knowing yet how to respond.  His hand falls back to the mattress, and he seems content to wait until I do know.  Though it feels longer, it’s probably only about 30 seconds.  30 seconds is a long time to be still and silent, though.

“It’s in your heart, then.”

He turns his head and regards me with those weak but penetrating eyes for a few seconds, then turns to face forward again.  “Duh!”

Silence again.  An abyss; that’s the measure you’d use.  An abyss of silence.

No surprise that it’s up to me to break it again.  “It?”

This time he smiles a bit.  “Also in here.”

I think about this for a moment before continuing.  “You are both Bruce and It now?”

He seems to be considering this carefully.  “Not exactly.  But not exactly not, either.”

“Ah.”  I settle back more, as if his answer had been adequate.


After what I’m sure is at least a full minute, I speak again.  “So, you’ll be getting a new name, then?”

The slow head turn once more.  This time he looks puzzled.  He stares at me with that look for a while.  I ignore the discomfort, hold his gaze and wait.

Finally:  “I don’t know.  I hadn’t thought of that yet.”  Now facing front.  “And I don’t know if this is…”  He lifts his hand and looks at it absently.


The hand drops.  “Yeah.  I don’t know if it’s permanent.”  He closes his eyes and sighs.

I decide to close my eyes too, and wait.

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